Crate Training the Anti-Crate Dog

Pippin life is just like any puppy life, we have chewing galore! It changes with the months. I can’t tell you how many countless pairs of shoes this pup has devoured! Oh and we can’t forget the sunglasses he’s snagged off of the tables and water bottles he has stolen too! This little guy likes to chew! He has over 20 different bones that he has to gnaw, chew and mangle. But of course, he prefers anything that belongs to us.

Lately, Pippin has a new chewing desire! Right now this means eating the blankets, throw pillows and the couch cushion of our living room furniture! Furniture is a little harder to replace than my $10 sunglasses! So, we have to do something about this! The crates are coming back out people! Now, Lu loves her crate and will take any chance to snuggle in for a good rest. Pippin on the other hand, let’s just say it might be his arch nemesis.

So before we get started on the how to crate train portion of this article, we should tackle the crate itself. We use very large crates that each have two doors for entry. A similar crate is pictured below. We use these crates for various reasons but the main one has already been mentioned. Pippin chews. Plastic just wouldn’t cut it!


2 door crate

So let’s discuss how we got this crazy pup in a crate! JERKY! Yes, I said it! Jerky! Haven’t you seen the ads on TV? There’s nothing we won’t do for jerky! So we made jerky a special treat in our house that was only for crate.

I would say “crate” and point into the crate while tossing a piece of jerky into the far right corner. (Of course Lu has already got in her crate, gotten her jerky and is now in the process of getting cozy.) The first day was just barking, barking and barking some more. He yelled at the piece of jerky for 30 minutes.

They key here is reward and punishment. When he touched the crate or got near he got a “good boy” or “good crate” when he turned away from the crate, he got a “no”. We repeated until he entered the crate. The second day this was a shorter ordeal. On the third day, Pippin just walked right in! It takes patience but making a dog comfortable in their surroundings is key!

Our Pippin Plan:

  1. Crate everyday whenever we leave for 2 weeks.
  2. On week 3 we will start leaving for 30 minutes at a time and extending time over the next 2 weeks.
  3. If that fails, we will buy all metal furniture and that is how we will live from now on.

As a person that loves shopping, and home design, I sort of don’t mind him eating our 15 year old couch. To me, it is a reason for a new couch (or two).  Dog Dad has another opinion on that though.

So, now we are beginning our “14 Day Crate Challenge”. Stick with us for more details!


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